Coutinho “perfect” for Barca, says former Liverpool coach

Phillippe Coutinho would be a “perfect” signing for Barcelona, says former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran.

Ayestaran who was in the Reds’ coaching staff under Rafael Benitez from 2004 to 2007, claims Coutinho would add stability and control to Barcelona’s midfield. The Catalans have not had a great start to their 2017/18 season since Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month. Barca were thrashed 5-1 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

“Barca simply need a player like Coutinho, both tactically and for his quality. From a tactical point of view, I think he is a perfect fit,” said Ayestaran.

The former Valencia boss added that Coutinho “ticks all the boxes” for Barcelona and would be a seamless fit at the Nou Camp.

“They have already lost Xavi while Andres Iniesta is already in the latter stages of his career so will play less, and they thereby don’t manage to control the ball in the middle of the pitch in the same way, or make it arrive for the forwards at the right pace. They have lost that. Coutinho can offer this, he ticks all the boxes, and especially those penetrating passes.

“Liverpool’s game last year was all about attackers alternating positions so much, and it was often down to Coutinho to choose the right tempo of the play. He is also probably a better positional player than a player on the break, as he gives the right angles for passing options, his body shape is good, and he always chooses the right option.”

The Reds’ wantaway superstar has handed in a transfer request at Anfield in order to force a move out of the club. Liverpool remain adamant that The Brazilian is not for sale for any price whatsoever after rejecting two bids already. The second bid was believed to be around £90 million.